Why Does Google Still Make Nexus Phones?

29 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Expected to Unveil New Nexus Phones, Latest Android OS.

Google is expected to unveil two new Nexus smartphones, its new mobile operating system and the next generation of its Chromecast streaming device at an event in San Francisco on Tuesday. It’s been a busy few months in the smartphone world, given that new devices from Apple, Samsung, Sony, Huawei and Motorola have all had unveilings of late to varying tides of critical acclaim.Google is holding a special event on Sept. 29, where it’s expected the company will reveal two new Nexus-branded smartphones, a second-generation Chromecast, and details about its new Android operating system, Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Analysts will be watching closely, but not just for product updates: The event marks Sundar Pichai’s first presentation as CEO and investors will be looking for signals of a change in direction for Google’s business. “[It] will be interesting to see if Pichai talks about any topics other than products. For example, users will now have the ability to control app permissions on a granular level (e.g., approving access to location data, while declining access to contacts), instead of the all-or-nothing approach earlier Android releases used. The Nexus 6P is Huawei’s first Nexus device and, according to Android Police, will be available for pre-order on Tuesday in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada and Japan starting at $499.99 and the device features a metal body, Gorilla Glass 4, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 v 2.1 processor and 3450mAh battery.

The event is also likely to (hopefully) herald the launch of Android Marshmallow too, with any new devices introduced expected to be the ones used to launch the software for the first time. A new feature called Now on Tap, the latest version of Google’s digital assistant, will start providing better context for whatever data appears on a user’s screen. For instance, when viewing an email containing proposed dinner plans with a friend, a simple tap and hold on the home button will prompt Google Now to display Yelp reviews, a shortcut to OpenTable for reservations, and Google Maps for directions — simply by analyzing what’s currently on your screen and returning results. The new device is said to offer improved performance, and a new “Fast Play” that will allow users to launch content from WiFi-connect devices much faster. According to Comscore, Android has 51 percent of the US smartphone market share and an even greater share of the pie outside the U.S., where Apple’s iOS devices are less popular.

But Android Police is noting that Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint do not plan to carry Nexus phones in stores this time around. (All four gave shelf space to Motorola’s Nexus 6.) Instead, the Google Store will be your go-to destination for all things Nexus — though other retail options like Amazon and Best Buy might also be in the cards. In some leaked images that appeared online, a silver ring can be seen on the rear of the device, below the camera lens, that could be a fingerprint scanner.

Still, Android has “closed the functionality gap with [Apple’s] iOS at high end and is now a true competitor,” Wilson said — an important step since Android phones are generally seen as targeted to more price-conscious users. The camera ‘bulge’ at the top of the 6P is drawing plenty of debate – with many suggesting that hopefully it means hefty camera power will be housed within the phone. Android Police reports that Google will also announce a Play Music family plan for $15 per month for up to 6 devices, rivaling similar offerings from Spotify and Apple. It was announced way back in May, and is still due to be released sometime this autumn, so it would make a lot of sense to finally roll out Marshmallow.

Netflix and co have started taking over the world when it comes to how we consume media, so reports suggest Google is looking to refresh its own take on this market. But SunTrust analyst Robert Peck says Wall Street is not so optimistic. “Many believe there could be some cash penalty, akin to what Microsoft saw several years ago (several billion). However, the much more important part would be any impact to top-line growth rates, should Google be forced to emphasize other services (i.e., YELP) over its own,” he said.

Reports around this possible new product are still vague, but according to 9to5 Google, this will essentially be just like a traditional Chromecast, except you plug it into a speaker system and not a TV, before then streaming your music through that system. 9to5 Google also claims that Spotify could be ready to finally add support for Chromecast Audio.

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